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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: Alto Braided Lightning Cable

Hands On: Alto Braided Lightning Cable
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MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
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May 2, 2016, 08:00 AM
We could probably join Lightning Cable Breakers Anonymous at this point, what with the amount of cables we've accidentally destroyed. Either we've bent them at awkward angles while charging them, or crushed them in our bags under laptops and textbooks. That's probably why Alto designed their heavy duty, yet very stylish Braided Lightning Cable.

Like most braided cables, the Alto Braided Lightning Cables are reinforced at key breaking points, namely the spot just behind either ends, where cables are prone to bending when you use your phone while it's charging. It doesn't have the sheer amount of reinforcement that our Griffin Braided Lightning Cables do, but Alto says their cables are capable of withstanding up to 30 pounds of force being applied to them before sustaining any damage.
It's certainly a sturdy-feeling cable, and we appreciate the fact that it comes in a manageable length. The one we tested was a little over a yard (1m) in length. The braided cables we have come across generally come in six-foot or 10-foot lengths, which makes them far too unruly to pack in a purse, bag, or keep on our desk. This means that this cable is a far better desk companion than a 10-foot Goliath that gets stuck under desk wheels and tugged on by felines and children alike. We also appreciated the look of the cable, with it's navy cord accented with white and red, which makes it stand out in our collection quite a bit more than our others.
Here's where we have the problem with the Alto Braided Lighting Cable: it's expensive -- and we don't mean "kind of" expensive. Normally, it comes in just under $40, though there's a promotion running that drops the price to just under $35. Our 10-foot Griffin Braided Lightning cable retails for $40 as well, but Griffin sells a five-foot version for $30. Does Griffin sell a three-foot version like this one? No, and that might be where the rub is. This cord is designed to last forever and take a real beating, comes in an entirely reasonable length for a wide array of uses (desktop, travel, general charging, et cetera), and it looks good. However, it's still $35.
So, whether or not you want to pay the money is entirely on you, and we're willing to bet that most people would pay a little extra money if they knew that they weren't going to be paying through the nose for replacement cables in the future. Like we said, the Alto Braided Lightning Cable is a bit under $35, but if you're willing to pay for the investment now, you can snag one from Alto's online store. Who could make use of the Alto Braided Lightning Cable: If you're looking for a cable that looks attractive and can stand up to whatever you throw at it, this might be your best bet. Who can pass on the Alto Braided Lightning Cable: If you're not regularly replacing your Apple Lightning Cables, maybe you don't need this, and maybe you could teach us how not to break ours so often. -- Amber Neely (@SurferAmber) Readers: do you have an app or product that you'd like to see us review? Developers and designers: do you want us to take a look at your app or product? Send your suggestions to our Tips email.
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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May 2, 2016, 11:52 AM
Wow, how retro. Once upon a time (at least in the 1940s), this is what (admittedly thicker) power cords looked like. Deja vu all over agin.
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